Dear Wesley Moster, communications director, Department of safety and homeland security
I am a member of the press, and use a car for several purposes: Private business, exercise of rights and for personal necessities. I have a Class D driver license.
I would like to know on what basis the department of safety and homeland security does not prosecute me for using the road as a Class D licensee who has not paid the $50 carrier permit as part of the unified carrier system at Tenn. Code Ann. § 65-15-101.
The law requires motor carriers to have a permit.
65-15-107. Interstate permits.
(a) It is unlawful for any motor carrier, contract hauler, or exempt for-hire motor carrier to use any of the public highways of this state for the transportation of persons or property, or both, in interstate or intrastate commerce, without first having received a permit from the department or from any state designated as the base jurisdiction state for that carrier pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 11506 [omitted] as amended by § 4005 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. Violators are subject to penalty pursuant to § 65-15-113.
(b) Such interstate permits, when issued, shall be subject to such rules and regulations as the department may thereafter legally prescribe.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 65-15-101, application for permits, restates this requirement to have a permit.
(a) The department shall adopt rules prescribing the manner and form in which motor carriers and/or contract haulers shall apply for intrastate or interstate permits required by this part. Every application shall be in writing and accompanied by the payment of fifty dollars ($50.00).
Certain parties in certain uses of motor vehicles are exempt from the unified carrier system in Title 65.
Nineteen categories are exempt from being part of the motor carrier system. I cut and paste a copy of the 65-15-103 below for your convenience.
I do not appear in the exempt list. The cars I use for personal business do not appear on the exempt list.
On what authority does your department not demand I obtain the permit to use these cars on the public road? Respectfully, etc.
65-15-103. Exempt vehicles — Applicability. [Emphases added]
(a) The provisions of this part, except those providing for safety inspection and safety rules and regulations for motor vehicles provided for in § 65-15-111, do not apply to any motor vehicles, while used exclusively:
(1) Airport limousines — for carrying persons and/or property between airport terminals and hotels, motels, and other designated points in any municipality, county or the suburb of the same served by such airport;
(2) Ambulances and hearses — in funerals or as ambulances;
(3) Charter vehicles — to any motor vehicle making casual trips on call or under contract, solicited by the party served, for the carrying of passengers; provided, that on such casual trips no operator shall be allowed to pick up any passengers along the route, nor be permitted on the return trip to carry any passengers other than those included in the original or outbound trip;
(4) Commuter vans — to any motor vehicle, except taxicabs or airport limousines, used primarily for hauling fifteen (15) or fewer passengers to and from their regular places of employment, or to the organizers, sponsors or promoters of such vehicles under former § 65-15-115 [repealed];
(5) Intracity transfer service — in-city transfer service by way of transporting property for-hire between points in any one (1) town, city or suburbs thereof, not over or along any definite, fixed, announced, or advertised routes between any points in such one (1) city, town or suburbs thereof; provided, that this exemption does not apply to motor vehicles transporting petroleum products and other hazardous materials, in bulk, in tank trucks or trailers, for-hire, other than those owned or operated by any person, firm or corporation engaged on May 17, 1971, in providing such transport services, unless they are exempt under subdivision (a)(7). No funds received by the department under this section may be used for purposes of funding any retirement benefit for any person, to secure actuarial soundness, nor to improve any retirement plan or benefit; and provided further, that this exemption shall not apply to contract haulers engaged in the transportation of mobile homes; provided, that the contract haulers performing these services as prescribed by this chapter be given thirty (30) days to apply to the department for the authority to continue operation;
(6) Limousines — in the limousine service;
(7) Milk and other perishable farm products and livestock vehicles — for transporting or delivering milk or milk products from the producer thereof to the purchaser from the producer, or to any motor vehicle used casually, by the owner, to convey perishable farm products or livestock to market;
(8) Newspaper delivery vehicles — to any motor vehicle used primarily in the transportation of newspapers, or to any motor vehicle used casually, by the owner, to deliver newspapers while going to or from work, or to any commercial motor vehicle whose commercial use is not now subject to regulation by the department and whose use to deliver newspapers is incidental to its primary use;
(9) Passenger hauling demonstration projects — to any motor vehicle operated pursuant to department approved demonstration projects conducted by state, local municipalities, counties, or metropolitan governments when such demonstration projects are of limited duration and will meet transportation needs in the hauling of passengers; provided, that the department of safety may inspect such vehicles for purposes of safety, and such vehicles shall be subject to § 65-15-111; provided, that the department of safety may establish a minimum level of insurance coverage to be required of all vehicles operating pursuant to this subdivision (a)(9). Vehicles operating pursuant to this subdivision (a)(9) are subject to the inspection, control, and supervision fee as provided in § 65-15-112. This subdivision (a)(9) does not apply in any county having a metropolitan form of government;
(10) Railroad limousines and dray vehicles — for carrying persons and/or property between railroad depots and any points in any city, town or suburb thereof, in or adjacent to which such depot is located;
(11) School and church vehicles — for transporting persons to or from school, Sunday school, church or religious services of any kind, upon special prearranged trips or excursions under the auspices of any religious or charitable organization;
(12) Seasonal transportation of fertilizer for farm or dairy purposes — to any motor vehicle used on a seasonal basis to transport fertilizer to local dealers, farms, gins, or dairies for farm or dairy purposes; provided, that the department may inspect such vehicles for purposes of safety, and such vehicles shall be subject to § 65-15-111;
(13) Sedans — in the sedan service;
(14) Shuttles — in the shuttle service;
(15) Taxicabs — in taxicab service;
(16) Transportation of hot mix asphalt — to any motor vehicle while used in the transportation of hot mix asphalt when the owner, lessee or bailee of the vehicle is legally and regularly engaged in the business of selling or distributing such hot mix asphalt transported on such vehicle; provided, that the department of safety may inspect such motor vehicles for purpose of safety and such vehicles shall be subject to § 65-15-111; and provided further, that the department of safety is empowered to enforce this subdivision (a)(16) with respect to safety as if such vehicle were a common carrier;
(17) Vehicles hauling ore, sand, gravel and other unprocessed products of the soil — to any motor vehicles used in the transportation of coal produced from mines located within this state, or products of the soil in unprocessed state, including, but not limited to, sand, gravel, chert or phosphate muck;
(18) Vehicles hauling recovered materials — to any motor vehicle while used in the transportation of recovered materials from the point of generation to a processing facility or to the end-user of these materials or from the processing facility to the end-user of these materials; provided, that such vehicles shall be subject to the provisions of § 65-15-111 pertaining to safety regulation for motor vehicles. “Recovered materials” means those materials which have been diverted or removed from the solid waste stream for sale, use, reuse or recycling. “Recovered materials” does not include any materials being transported to a landfill; or
(19) Vehicles used in selling or distribution of petroleum products — to any motor vehicle while used in the transportation of petroleum products when the owner, lessee or bailee of the vehicle is legally and regularly engaged in the business of selling or distributing such petroleum products transported on such vehicle; provided, that the department of safety may inspect such motor vehicles for purposes of safety and such vehicles shall be subject to § 65-15-111; and provided further, that the rate charged by any person hauling petroleum products as excluded by this subdivision (a)(19) shall be no less than the rates set by the department for hauling petroleum products by common carriers; and provided further, that the department of safety is empowered to enforce the provisions of this subdivision (a)(19) with respect to safety and rates as if such vehicle was a common carrier including its powers under former § 65-15-121 [repealed].
(b) In addition to the provisions of subsection (a), the provisions of this part, except those providing for safety inspection and safety rules and regulations for motor vehicles transporting hazardous materials, do not apply to contract haulers or motor vehicles of contract haulers, while used exclusively for transporting liquid asphalt or any product containing liquid asphalt as one (1) of its ingredients; provided, that the department of safety may inspect such motor vehicles for purposes of safety rules and regulations under § 65-15-111.